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More Important than Blood

Writers: Paula, Suzee
Date Posted: 25th August 2019

Characters: Aileyan, Tavia
Description: Tavia lends a shoulder and an ear to a hurting Aileyan...
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 4, day 25 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentions: U'kaiah, Kaiafel, Eilomar, J'nev
Follows events of "DFW: The Fire Inside." late for story arc issues.


***
Aileyan sat on her weyr's ledge, using Kjarliheth warm side as a
backrest. She was moping. Feeling sorry of herself. Generally
wallowing in misery. Mostly she was disturbed her argument with
Kaiafel.

"So," Tavia asked softly as she walked over from a ledge nearby. "How
are you doing?" She sat down next to the younger greenrider without
looking at her.

"Tavia?" Aileyan was surprised to see the older green rider. "Not very
well," she replied her question.

"I kind of thought so," she replied quietly. "Anything I can do?"

"I don't know," Aileyan hesitated. "Maybe you can advice me?" she
asked shyly. Tavia was older, more experienced and frankly, more level-headed
than her.

"Of course," she said with concern. "I'm always here for you Aileyan.
You're like a sister to me."

"Thank you," Aileyan gave her a smile and then turned to stare at the
horizon. "I'm sure you already heard that I argued with Kaiafel. It
was really stupid. And now I feel bad about it. I mean, I really like
him. So why I take it out on him when I'm feeling bad? Is it because
he reminds me of his father?" There were the questions that had been
buzzing in her mind.

Tavia's eyes crinkled and she smiled. "I can see that," she said then
rubbed her nose. "What exactly did he say to make you," she searched
her mind for an appropriate word. "... explode?"

"Well, he kind of saw me with J'nev. Then he made remark how J'nev
doesn't like his father and bash him. I said it was not my problem but
between those two men and U'kaiah should defend himself. Then he said
I should defend U'kaiah and I...kind of told him that he had tossed me
aside so why should I care," Aileyan expression was one of pain and
haunting regrets. She cared, and that was the problem. She already
felt guilty about seeing J'nev and Kaiafel pointing out just made it
all worse.

Tavia sighed and put her arm around the younger greenrider. "He didn't
toss you aside Aileyan. Not any more than he did any of us." She half
smiled and leaned to try and see her eyes. "As hard as it is to
accept, I think he feels his duty is more important than anything
else. Including you, me, and his children." It had taken her turns to
really accept it herself.

"Tell that to my heart," Aileyan said bitterly.

"I know, believe me." Tavia nodded her understanding. "If anyone on
this planet understands exactly how you feel, it's me. Do you think
I've really felt any differently?"

"Probably not," Aileyan replied. "Just dealt with it more maturedly."
Aileyan was smart enough to see where she failed. She was only
twenty-two with a history of being neglected or abandoned by her
parents.

"Wasn't easy," she shook her head. "Ya know something? I think maybe
we could get him back if we work together. Is that something you'd
want?" She had no idea whether Aileyan had really moved on or was
still just taking her revenge on the Weyrleader.

"I don't know. I kind feel I've already ruined it," Aileyan replied
with heavy heart and wrung her hands. Yes, she wanted him back. But
did she deserve him back?

"The thing to remember is that he loves you. If he didn't, you
couldn't hurt him with..." she stopped and shrugged. "I know he loves
you Aileyan. He's told me so, he just doesn't know how to handle your
anger so he stays away." She shook her head. "You know how the kids
are? When we're upset they go hide to stay out of our way until we
calm down. Right?"

"Right," Aileyan nodded. Tavia's words reminded her that she was so
angry and hurt _because_ she loved him too. Never stopped loving,
although she was trying.

"So, you need to decide if you want him back," Tavia said softly. "If
you do, I'll help you."

Aileyan was silent for a long while. Then she replied with a quiet,
desperate voice. "I want him back so bad it's like a cancer growing in
me. Why do you think I fool around with J'nev? I hope he gets jealous
and does something."

That was holder thinking or in Aileyan's case Hall thinking. But she
couldn't actually say it that way. "So," she began carefully "Do you
mind sharing him with me?"

"We already did once, didn't we?" Aileyan asked. "I can't see why we
couldn't do it again," she continued. She had grown so close to Tavia
in U'kaiah's absence that she no longer felt any jealousy towards her.
Perhaps there was still touch of envy now and then.

Tavia's brows twitched as she nodded her acknowledgment. "I'm very
glad you feel that way," she breathed. "I do too. I just want us all a
happy family, you know?" She squeezed Aileyan's shoulders. "I don't
know what I'd do without you and Ravyan."

"We have become a family," Aileyan agreed. "I know Ravyan thinks
Kaiavin and Kaiafel are his brothers and U'kaiah is closest thing to a
father he has. He barely remembers the man who sired him," she
continued. "And sometimes that is more important than the actual blood
connection. Who you think are, they are your family. Faranth only
knows how, but Eilomar has become more father to me after I found out
he's not really my father." Aileyan wasn't sure if she was making
sense or just rambling. She was also blinking away tears. Still, just
talking to Tavia was helping. It forced her to voice her thoughts and
feelings, making them clearer.

"They are his brothers in all the ways that count," Tavia agreed. "So,
I'm going to go see U'kaiah," she added. "I'll suggest he come to see you
if that's alright."

Aileyan nodded mutely, feeling suddenly very nervous and uncertain.
Uncertain if she was really want U'kaiah wanted. Maybe he had simply
moved on and forgotten her. Maybe she was just too messed up to be
good enough for anyone.

"Alright then," she smiled and stood. "Would you and Ravyan like to
come over for dinner tonight with Kaiavin and me?"

"Of course, we love to come," Aileyan replied, feeling more secure
when the subject shifted away from emotions. "And if you're making
pancakes again, you can't possibly keep Ravyan away."

"I can do that," Tavia grinned. It wasn't what she'd planned but
pleasing the youngsters in her life was a mother's prerogative.

Last updated on the September 3rd 2019


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